WORKERS at whisky firm Chivas Brothers have voted massively to reject a pay offer, accusing the company of corporate greed.
Members of the Unite trade union had been offered a 1.5 per cent increase, backdated to July 2016.
This was to be followed by three years of rises that, according to the union, would barely keep pace with inflation and could see staff lose money in real terms. Unite officials have said workers would also lose a holiday premium from June this year.
On Wednesday, the union revealed that 94 per cent of members had rejected the pay offer in a consultative ballot.
In November last year, Chivas Brothers announced that it was to close its bottling operations in Renfrew Road, Paisley, and move all staff to a new facility in Dumbarton.
Unite regional officer Pat McIlvogue said: “Chivas Brothers say the closure of the Paisley plant will lead to future savings, but the workforce feel they are being forced to suffer to finance the investment, both though paltry pay increases and cuts to terms and conditions.
“This is sheer corporate greed. Chivas Brothers are making massive profits thanks to the hard work of our members.
“Their last reported profits after tax were £318 million.”
Mr McIlvogue added that the company’s profits per employee amount to over £227,000 and their highest-paid director earns nearly £1 million.
He continued: “Scotland is facing an inequality crisis because workers are getting less and less, while rich executives and shareholders are getting more and more.
“We can’t allow that kind of unfair economy to continue.
“Fairness demands that our members receive a pay increase that properly reflects the work they do on behalf of the company.
“Unite is determined that they will get it.
“We will now seek further talks with the company and go back to our members with the outcome. They will then decide our future course of action.”
In response to the trade union’s claims, Chivas bosses insisted they are working to resolve the pay dispute.
A spokeswoman for Chivas Brothers added: “Discussions with trade unions are ongoing.
“We will meet again next week to continue these discussions. Our goal is to find a favourable solution for all parties.”